Friday, October 13, 2017


It's almost Halloween!  We have a budding technophile who wanted to be an iPhone this year.  As this would be one of the least expensive and easiest costumes to make I was all for it!

Easy DIY iPhone Costume for Halloween |

All you need is a black foam board (I got ours at the Dollar Tree), a piece of black ribbon, and a printer!  All in it cost me, oh maybe, $1.50 to make this costume.  The most time consuming part was downloading the iPhone app icons and resizing them to fit the foam board on the computer.

Easy DIY iPhone Costume for Halloween |
Easy DIY iPhone Costume for Halloween |

We modeled the costume to be like my iPhone 6 and to include a full screen of apps with a bottom bar.  In total, we had 3 rows of 4 icons each and then the bottom bar which also included four more apps.  Leave room at the very bottom of your board for your home button and at the top for your screen graphics.

Easy DIY iPhone Costume for Halloween |

My son choose his favorite apps (hence lots of games - Pokemon being a favorite around here!) and we resized the images which are easily found on Google to be 4.5" x 4.5" squares.  Some of the images of the icons already included a rounded corner but those that did not we just cut the corners so they all matched.  The home button was a circle that was also 4.5" in diameter.  For the top of the screen we printed out some dots and bars to match the design of our iPhone and the screen bar which included our wireless carrier, the time, and the battery icon.  Once you have all your print outs, it is easy to lay them on top of your foam board and place them so that they are properly spaced out.  Then just use a glue stick or double sided tape and attach the pictures!

Easy DIY iPhone Costume for Halloween |

Truthfully the hardest part of the costume was just cutting out the little letters and numbers for the top of the phone display.  After the icons are glued on, I just rounded the corners of the foam board, and tapped a ribbon at the top corners so that you can hang the costume around your neck for easy hands free walkability.

Easy DIY iPhone Costume for Halloween |

And there you have it!  A walking iPhone!  =)

Monday, September 18, 2017


Quick and Easy Colorful Pennant Banner |

This quick and easy banner took less than ten minutes to put together and cost about $1.50 to make.  That's my kind of project!  Plus this was an easy activity that my daughter could help with so it doubled as a good bonding experience for my sadly non-napping toddler.  While I like the extra cuddle time, I do miss sneaking in a quick afternoon nap when she does!  

We first started with some rectangular foam sheets that you can pick up at any craft store (we bought ours from the Dollar Tree and it came in a multi-pack of different colors).  Next we cut each sheet into six triangles and within each triangle just made a small cut at the top corners with a pair of scissors to make an opening to thread a ribbon.  This only took a few minutes (longer with my little helper!).  It doesn't have to be perfect since you don't really see the slits once the banner is hanging.

Quick and Easy Colorful Pennant Banner |

Next we threaded a thin ribbon through each triangle piece to make a simple pennant banner.  We used a 1/4" white ribbon which was thick enough to help the triangles stay flat and hang in one direction.  

Quick and Easy Colorful Pennant Banner |

And that's basically it!  Now your banner is ready to hang.  We hung ours in the playroom to add a bit of instant festiveness to our play area.  As my sweetie would say, it's like a daily birthday party.  I love how even little things can make a child light up with happiness.  Not bad for $1.50!  =)

Quick and Easy Colorful Pennant Banner |
Quick and Easy Colorful Pennant Banner |

Friday, July 28, 2017


$100 Room Challenge Living Room Before and After |

The living room is now finished!  I spent basically all my budget from the $100 Room Challenge on a couch which I was lucky enough to find on Craigslist.  It was actually listed for $100 but I was able to negotiate ten dollars off and used that money to rent a pickup truck from Home Depot (which was actually twenty dollars so I am ten dollars over budget - oops!) to carry my new find home.

$100 Room Challenge Living Room Before and After |

The rest of the room is furnished from the rest of my home.   We were lucky to start with a blank space since we just moved into this house, which always makes it nice when designing a new room.

$100 Room Challenge Living Room Before and After |

My favorite part of the challenge was filling in the space on the shelves.  Finding ways to keep the items balanced and simple was definitely a challenge.  I posted some tips in my previous post on styling bookshelves.

$100 Room Challenge Living Room Before and After |

Am I crazy to think about the next phase to update the room???  I would love to put a rug in to soften up the room and replace the artwork over the mantel with a mirror.  the blank wall behind the piano could also benefit with artwork as well.   One can always dream right =)?  But overall, I am very happy with how the room turned out!

Here is one last before and after of the room.

$100 Room Challenge Living Room Before and After |

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

5 Tips for Styling Bookshelves

5 tips to styling bookshelves |

This is week three of the $100 Room Challenge and this is where I tackle my favorite part of the room: the built ins.  

I love love love the look of built ins but styling them can be much harder than you think.  Making the shelves look organized, interesting and functional all at the same time is quite a challenge.  If the shelves were in my office or bedroom I would definitely just be cramming them with my beloved books but for shelves that are in the open, you want to make a statement without overwhelming anyone since that is usually the first thing you see when you enter into a room.  Here are my five simple tips for styling a bookcase.

Tip 1:
Have a clear and consistent color scheme.  You don't have to go crazy and make everything monochrome, but arranging items that are within one or two harmonious colors helps to greatly unify things.

Tip 2:
Layer and stack.  Grouping items in twos or threes give your eye direction when looking at the shelves at a whole.  You do not want to have items the same height grouped together so place vases in two different sizes together or books stacked vertically on one shelf but then horizontally on another shelf.  This adds interest to your shelves and keeps things from looking too uniform.

Tip 3:
Add art where you can.  Pictures of your family, or framed pieces of artwork that you like are great to put behind objects as it adds depths to your shelves.

5 tips to styling bookshelves |

Tip 4:
Think about balance.  I like to think of the shelves like scales.  You want to have similar groupings of vases or art or books on one side as well as the other to unify the whole room.  You want to balance both the number and types of items as well as color of the items.  The shelves should be filled in but not feel to overwhelmed with items which leads me to my next tip...

Tip 5:
Edit, edit and edit.  It's easy to try to pack everything you own onto the shelves but you want to highlight the items that you really love and find beautiful or sentimental.  I am the worst when it comes to this because I love to keep everything.  But if it is not something you really cherish, or find beautiful then you can place it somewhere else in your home (I have boxes in the garage that my husband can't wait for me to get rid of!).  

And there it is!  I finally have a place to put the decor and books I have collected through the years.

5 tips to styling bookshelves |

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

$100 Room Challenge Week 2

Over the weekend we finally moved into our new house.  While we still are in the midst of unpacking, we did find time to place our piano into the living room.  The piano feels a bit big for the room, but it's the only real place to place it unless we want to forgo our dining room.  Hopefully with the right decorations the room will feel cozy and bright.
My goal now is to use my budget to purchase a couch for the other side of the room and then utilize some of our current decorations to fill in the mantel and bookshelves.  Since it's summer, we place a few of our bird on the mantel for now.  

And here is what the room looks like for now:
$100 Room Challenge |

It's still pretty bland with all the blank walls but some artwork and with a styled bookshelf that should hopefully change!  Now off to find a couch for less that $100 and maybe hopefully have some money leftover for a mirror to go over the mantel place.  I am definitely feeling that Craigslist is my friend for this project!

Some mirrors that I am eyeing if budget was not an issue are shown below.  I definitely am a fan of a round mirror, preferably with a gold or wood frame to add some warmth to the room.

And here are some other very talented bloggers who are part of this challenge.

Monday, July 10, 2017

$100 Room Challenge

I know I have been MIA from blogging recently but I have good reason I promise!  We are actually moving this week.  Between running around packing and dealing with contractors (we  are trying to refinish the floors before we move in) and trying to squeeze some summer fun playing with the kiddos, it's been hard to find time to post.  If that wasn't enough, I threw my hat in to participate in the $100 Room Challenge hosted by Lemons, Lavender and Laundry.  I am super excited to be part of this challenge and hopefully I can actually make something happen!

Since we aren't actually moving in until next week officially, I took a quick snap of the room I was thinking of updating.  I'm super excited about the built ins since I have always wanted them.  With only $100 to work with, we are definitely filling in the room with our existing furniture from our old house, but there are some fun things I think I can manage to DIY if I can wrangle some time away from packing and cleaning and of course playtime with my little ones!

I can't wait to fill this space!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Area Rugs

We finally live in a home with hardwood floors (at least on the first floor!) and while I love the look and ease of cleanliness, I would love to warm up the rooms and define seating areas in the rooms and area rugs are the perfect way to do so.

Here are some of the ones I am thinking of adding.  There are so many beautiful rugs out there that it's hard to choose!

I can't decide between going neutral or going with a bolder statement rug.  Which would you choose?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


I don't know about you but I'm loving the color yellow right about now.  I wanted to incorporate some of the beautiful hues into this staged home.

The silver and white color scheme of this bedroom is clean and classic but incorporating a bit of yellow by adding in a simple bouquet of flowers, or in the throw pillows or select pieces of art can significantly help warm the entire room.

Yellow modern bedroom |
Yellow modern living room |
 Modern art |

Come on and sprinkle a bit of yellow in your home!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Ultimate list of the best home decor and DIY link up parties for 2017 |
I am just starting out as a new blogger and recently found out about link up parties (apparently I have been snoozing the last few years).  This is a great way to meet other bloggers who enjoy doing the same thing you do and learn new ideas and see new projects at the same time.  I complied a list of my favorite link up parties that are relevant and hopefully this would be useful to others as well. Some of these parties start a little bit earlier than what their title implies so I placed them on the day you can actually start linking.

Skip To My Lou - Made By You Monday (morning)
Flour Me With Love - Mix It Up Monday (morning)
 Sizzling Towards 60 - Over The Moon Link Party (morning)
Creating My Way To Success - A Round Tuit (morning)
Our Home Away From Home - Tuesdays At Our Home  (morning)
Recipes And Ramblings -  What'd You Do This Weekend (7AM)
Simple Life Of A Fire Wife - Inspire Me Monday (8 AM))
My Uncommon Slice Of Suburbia - Inspire Me Monday (afternoon)
Worthing Court - The Scoop (afternoon)
Mad In Crafts - Mad Skills (afternoon)
Lou Lou Girls - Fabulous Party (afternoon)
A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday (afternoon)
That's What Che Said - Monday Funday (evening)
Pint Sized Baker - Two Cup Tuesday (evening)
Live Randomly Simply - Totally Terrific Tuesday (evening)
Life Sew Savory - Create Link Inspire (8 PM)
Flamingo Toes - Show and Tell (8 PM)
Home Stories A To Z - Tutorials And Tips (8 PM)
Yesterday On Tuesday - Project Inspired{d} (8 PM)

Funky Polkadot Giraffe - Too Cute Tuesday  (morning)
The DIY Dreamer - From Dream To Reality (afternoon)
Ducks n' a Row - Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop (evening)
Fluster Buster - Creative Muster Party (6 PM)
DIY By Design - It's A Party (evening)
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday (7 PM)
Mom Skills - Moonlight and Mason Jars (8 PM)
My Girlish Whims - Your Whims Wednesdays (9 PM)
Dizzy Busy and Hungry - Win'ed Down Wednesday (11 PM)

Ginger Snap Crafts - Wow Me Wednesday (morning)
I Gotta Create -  Wildly Original (afternoon)
The Life Of Jennifer Dawn - A Little Bird Told Me (afternoon)
Saving 4 Six - Think Tank Thursday (evening)
21 Rosemary Lane - Share Your Style (7 PM)
Miz Helen's Country Cottage - Full Plate Thursday (8 PM)

Artsy Fartsy Mama - Artsy Fartsy Link Party (12 AM)
Organized 31 - This Is How We Roll Thursday (5 AM)
The Thrifty Couple - Thrifty Thursday (7 AM)
Katherine's Corner - Let's Party Thursday (7 AM)
Embracing Change - Creative Inspirations (8 AM)
Up To Date Interiors - The Creative Circle (8 AM)
The Charm of Home - Home Sweet Home (3 PM)
The Pin Junkie - Pin Junkie Pin Party (5 PM)
Design Dining and Diapers - Inspiration Gallery (5 PM)
A Glimpse Inside - The Handmade Hangout (6 PM)
One Project Closer - Creativity Unleashed (7 PM)
French Country Cottage - Feathered Nest Friday (evening)
Practically Functional - Creativity Unleashed  (evening)
Tidy Mom - I'm Loving It (evening)
Simply Sweet Home - Friday Favorites (evening)
Create With Joy - Friendship Friday (evening)
Craft Dictator - Craft Frenzy Friday (evening)
Walking On Sunshine - Foodie Friends Friday (evening)
Two Chicks And A Mom - Funtastic Friday (9 PM)

Life With Lorelai - Home Matters (morning)
Oh My Heartsie Girl - Friday Features (morning)
My Suburban Kitchen - Pinworthy Projects (morning)
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating - Flaunt It Friday (morning)
Crafts A La Mode - What To Do Weekends (morning)
Coffee With Us 3 - Pretty Pintastic Party (morning)
Dear Creatives - Inspiration Spotlight (morning)
Frugal Mommas - Home Garden Family (morning)
Creative K Kids - Ultimate Pinterest Party (8 AM)
Tater Tots And Jello - Best Friday Features (5 PM)

The Sway - Saturday Sharefest (7 AM)
Pam's Party and Practical Tips - Dare To Share Saturday (8 AM)
One More Time - Share It One More Time (8 AM)
Across The Boulevard - Snickerdoodle Link Party (3 PM)
Life On Lakeshore Drive - The Bouquet Of Talent (6 PM)
Denise Designed - Sunday Features (8PM)

Creative Jewish Mom - Craft Schooling Sunday (morning)
Crafty Moms Share - Sharing Saturday (morning)
Pleasures Of The Northwest - DIY Link Up (morning)
Nifty Thrifty Things - Nifty Thrifty Sunday (8 AM)
The Stonybrook House - Digging It And Dishing It (4 PM)
Curly Crafty Mom - The Creative Corner (6 PM)
Reasons To Skip The Housework - Maker's Link Party (7 PM)
I Should Be Mopping The Floor - Inspiration Monday (7 PM)
The Girl Creative - Makers Gonna Make (7 PM)
Create With Joy - Inspire Me Monday (evening)
DIY Show Off - That DIY Party (evening)
The Crafting Nook - Inspiration Galore (evening)
Sew Can Do - Craftastic Monday (evening)
Rae Gun Ramblings - Block Party (evening)

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Clean and simple modern neutral bedrooms |

Recently, I have been thinking of making over our guest bedroom.  It's a room that our son actually stays in since it is a bit removed from the other bedrooms and he has more freedom to be as loud as he wants without waking up his sister.  When guests comes over he sleeps with the rest of us so I wanted to keep the room clean and simple with a neutral pallet but still have a splash of color.  His favorite color is cyan blue so I am thinking of bringing that in with the bedding and accessories. Here are some of the rooms I have helped staged in the past to keep as back up ideas.

Clean and simple modern neutral bedrooms |
This color scheme is perfect but it is a bit feminine so I would need to balance that out with less textured bedding and maybe a gallery wall to add interest behind the bed.

Clean and simple modern neutral bedrooms |
I love the clean lines of the bed and nightstand of this bedroom.

Clean and simple modern neutral bedrooms |
Clean and simple modern neutral bedrooms |
I love how modern and minimalist these bedrooms are.  It's simple and clean.  This is exactly what I want to go for but to accent with the blue color my son requests.

Clean and simple modern neutral bedrooms |
 The faux wood wall treatment of this bedroom pops out at me and I would love to do something unique like this in our bedroom as well.

I can't wait to start designing the bedroom!

Friday, April 14, 2017


Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |

Living on the West Coast, we have had some droughts in the recent years.  This year we received plenty of rainfall, but I still would love to reduce our water usage and found some easy but modern low maintenance landscape ideas that are still beautiful.


Succulents are one of the best drought tolerant plants.  They look beautiful, the cuttings can last for days without water and can be used in bouquets, and they provide great ground coverage.  I love how colorful they are, and when paired with a rock garden they add beauty to an otherwise uninspired landscape.  My favorite are the Agaves, Aloe Brevifolia, and Fred Ives plants shown below.

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |
Photograph by Debra Lee Baldwin


Here, a purple fountain grass (Pennisetum x advena 'Rubrum') contrasts beautifully with the shorter Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'.  These are perfect for borders along the edge of a house or to line a driveway. 

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |


Mixing different colored mulch, gravel, and river rocks to help define separate areas and create borders can help create a beautiful and easy to maintain landscape.  Curving the paths around the mixed media will capture your interest.

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |


If you want a eliminate grass completely from your lawn you can still capture the beauty of greenery by containing simple plants in containers or planters around your patio.  And you can install a simple drip system to keep the plants hydrated!  I love the horsetail bamboo and red Ti plants shown below.

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |


Ornamental grass such as Nassella tenuissima and Festuca rubra provide easy and low maintenance ground cover.  These type of grasses do not need to be mown and provide a soft romantic look to your yard.

Best plants for a modern and low maintenance landscape |

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